Thursday, April 16 2020

SMART NEWS

IN ONE TAKE

WHO does Trump think he is? SA joins global fury

Zweli Mkhize throws weight behind the agency after US leader deals blow to virus fight by withdrawing US funding

By Jeff Mason, Paulina Duran, Kevin Flynn and Matthew Savides
6 min read
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Maak ’n plan, ministers: Cabinet holds SA’s most crucial meeting

Saving lives and livelihoods expected to dominate the agenda plotting SA’s path through the coming tumult

By S’thembile Cele
3 min read
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‘I wish my family would get sick and hospitalised so we could eat’

The Mpumalanga department of social development says it has been overwhelmed by calls for food relief

By Mandla Khoza
2 min read
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Ouma god! Judge has mercy on gran stuck with kids in lockdown hell

Exhausted, arthritic woman has been saddled with her grandkids thanks to Covid-19, and she’s had enough

Dave Chambers
Cape Town bureau chief
3 min read
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Shops, hospitals shut as virus strikes frontline workers

With a lack of protective equipment and little government intervention, workers find themselves critically exposed

Jeff Wicks
Senior reporter
2 min read
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Doctors desperate to know what kills us: the virus or our bodies?

They suspect the immune system’s response may be so strong that it ‘ultimately overwhelms the patient’s organs’

Tanya Farber
Senior science reporter
2 min read
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Prisoners say failure to test them could see virus ‘explode’

A St Albans warder has tested positive, but inmates say they have only been questioned about their health

By Michael Kimberley and Kathryn Kimberley
4 min read

Bathabile, Busisiwe, have the bucks stopped with you?

ANALYSIS | In two years, there has yet to be a recorded instance of a politician paying a personal costs order

Karyn Maughan
Journalist
3 min read

STRANDED SAFFERS

THE PLIGHT OF SOUTH AFRICANS ABROAD

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‘We’re stuck in one of the world’s priciest cities and no one will help us’

Young SA couple is near-penniless in Hong Kong and says Dirco has been deaf to their pleas for rescue

By Orrin Singh and Zimasa Matiwane
4 min read
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SA pair left skint in Ivory Coast after embassy bungles escape plan

Forced to depend on the kindness of strangers, they say SA government gave them hope, only to let them down

Bobby Jordan
Senior reporter
2 min read
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Most students in Russia want to stay, say SA officials ... but do they?

Some are desperate to come home, saying hostels make self-isolation impossible and shops are running out of food

Prega Govender
Journalist
3 min read

IDEAS

FEEDING YOUR MIND

Ideas FREE

Let’s learn our virus lesson and fix what we teach

More pandemics are coming, so we need new ways to teach about viruses, bacteria and infectious diseases

4 min read
Ideas FREE

Jansen got it wrong - 2020 school year isn’t lost

The basic education department says the columnist makes a number of errors in his post-lockdown advice

By Elijah Mhlanga
7 min read

SNAPSHOT

The Diamond Building during national lockdown in Johannesburg.
DIAMOND IN THE SKY The Diamond Building during national lockdown in Johannesburg.
Image: Gallo Images/Sharon Seretlo

6 things you need to know

Fuel price set to plummet again in May

Globally destructive economic instability has pushed fuel prices into drastic retreat, leading to some very rare good news for SA motorists. This is according to the Automobile Association (AA), which was commenting on unaudited mid-month fuel price data released by the Central Energy Fund. “In the wake of March's record fuel price reductions, SA is probably set for a second month of record fuel price drops for some fuel types. The irony is that this has come at a time where motorists and businesses are severely limited as to how they can use their vehicles,” the AA said. The mid-month data showed petrol down by a huge R1.89 a litre, with illuminating paraffin dropping by R1.88 and diesel by R1.17.

SAA rescue team weighs state's 'no' to R10bn

SAA's business rescue practitioners are assessing the impact of the government turning down a request for R10bn in extra funding. On Tuesday, the practitioners received a letter from the ministry of public enterprises saying the government would not support an extension of the foreign currency borrowing limit to permit foreign financing of the business rescue plan. The practitioners, Siviwe Dongwana and Les Matuson, said in a note to creditors they were “assessing the impact of this development on the business rescue process and will communicate any decisions to be made in due course”. In the interim the company was conducting charter operations for the repatriation of foreigners and to bring back South Africans stranded in foreign countries home.

New date for Durban July

This year's Durban July has been moved to a new date, organisers confirmed on Wednesday. The horse racing extravaganza, which was scheduled for July 4, has been moved to July 25 owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Gold Circle, organisers of the famed event, have also agreed to push back the major feature race programme to May 31, and the 100th edition of the season-ending Gold Cup race day to August 29. Gold Circle CEO Michel Nairac said: “The Vodacom Durban July is the pinnacle of the South African racing calendar ... We are wholly aligned with the national plan to deal with this pandemic, and whatever regulations are in place at the time of the Vodacom Durban July will be strictly enforced.”

Germany set to extend lockdown by two weeks

Germany wants to extend social distancing rules by two weeks until May 3, according to a draft proposal agreed between chancellor Angela Merkel and governors of the country’s 16 states. The proposals include reopening schools, starting on May 4, with priority given to primary and secondary pupils in final years. Daycare centres will remain shut. Religious gatherings will remain banned, while some retailers will be allowed to open. - Reuters

Low-key celebrations for North Korea's founder

North Korea marked the anniversary of the birth of its founder, Kim Il Sung, in subdued fashion on Wednesday, with mask-wearing citizens placing flowers before his statue in Pyongyang amid strict anti-coronavirus measures. The grandfather of leader Kim Jong Un was born in 1912. His birthday is the most important date on the country’s political calender. Pyongyang residents arrived at Mansu hill in much smaller groups than the sometimes hundreds-strong detachments. Kim died in 1994. His preserved body lies in state at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun outside Pyongyang. - AFP

Baby's arrival shows life goes on amid pandemic

Her parents were infected with Covid-19 last month and the maternity unit was operating under lockdown, yet Bertille, arrived without a hitch. Arnaud Joal and Noemie Bouchet welcomed her on April 9. Pregnant women are concerned about the impact of Covid-19, but Bouchet, a gynaecologist, said she was optimistic the disease would leave no trace on Bertille. “The data for newborns are quite reassuring, there are few risks that they get infected, even fewer risks that complications occur." With most stores closed in Switzerland, Joal said they were borrowing baby clothes. - Reuters

THE VISUAL SIDE

CROSSWORDS

GIVE YOUR BRAIN SOME EXERCISE

Today’s cryptic crossword

It's time to put your brain to work

1 min read

Today’s quick crossword

How fast can you get it done?

1 min read

WORLD

THE NEWS YOU DON'T NORMALLY GET TO HEAR

The EU’s Covid-19 response is an abject failure. The WHO is just as bad

It hasn't forged a common front against the pandemic. No wonder sovereign states are going their own way

By Con Coughlin
4 min read

Climate fight has been lost in the heat of a maelstrom

Global warming’s challenges have not disappeared, but they are now even further from the minds of those in power

By Rachel Millard
4 min read

Covid operation: Taliban uses the pandemic as a giant PR exercise

By swapping weapons for surgical masks the insurgents want to show they could govern Afghanistan properly

By Ben Farmer and Sami Yousafzai
2 min read

It’s the end of the word as we know it: Scrabble app spells ‘nightmare’

The beloved 80-year-old board game is going online, sparking a backlash from traditionalists

By Jessica Carpani
1 min read

LIFE

ALL THE OTHER THINGS THAT MATTER

Ideas FREE

We’re all a little Freud at the edges these days

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Sue de Groot
Deputy features editor: Sunday Times
4 min read

Moving off the couch could help fend off deadly infections

Daily exercise during lockdown is important in maintaining a healthy immune system, researchers say

Suthentira Govender
Senior reporter
3 min read

How to stop loading up on lekkerness in lockdown

Are you snacking and drinking more? Have mealtimes gone out of the window? You're on the C19 diet

By Victoria Lambert
7 min read

The corona cloud has a stubbled lining: hipster beards are the new no-no

Facial fluff carries more germs than a dog’s coat – not exactly what’s needed in a time of hyper-hygiene

By Stephen Doig
2 min read

The six pieces to keep if you’re clearing out your closet

If you’re being ruthless about culling clothes, it’s worth holding on to these items

By Krissy Turner
3 min read

Euphoric over euphorbia? Three reasons we love succulents

You won’t have to go far to source this week’s luxe object of desire, it’s probably growing in your garden

By Mila Crewe-Brown
2 min read

Blast from the past: Ludick fizzles out to Cokes

Today in SA sports history: April 16

David Isaacson
Sports reporter
1 min read

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